Through the Eyes of Jesus
On Friday night our team went on outreach with one of our ministry partners, Treasures. Treasures reaches out to women working in the strip clubs of Los Angeles. In Los Angeles alone there are more than 173 strip clubs. This Friday we went to 12 different clubs in the Hollywood area and were able to hand out 230 gifts to the women working in the clubs. They all were excited to receive the gifts and were often surprised and asked us why we were doing this, which then gave us the chance to tell them more about Treasures and what they are doing. 230 women were told that they are loved, valued and purposed and that they are not alone.
As we were driving through the streets of Hollywood, I was overcome with sadness of how broken the city is. In the media Hollywood is so glamorized, it’s portrayed as a place where dreams come, where you can make it big and become famous. In reality Hollywood is a broken and hurting place. As we pass through the streets I see people sleeping on the pavement, they are without jobs, no roof over their head and don’t even have a bed to sleep in at night. I see people passed out from drinking too much alcohol trying to numb their pain. I see men and women going to strip clubs to find some kind of pleasure. And I hear the stories of the girls working in the strip clubs. One girl, she can’t be older than 19, told us that it is her first night working. She came to Los Angeles to become an actress and is now working in a strip club to make money.
As I was sitting in the car trying to process all the things I am seeing God clearly spoke to me, “the way you feel is just a glimpse of how I feel. But I am not overwhelmed by these things because I have so much more to offer.” It is so easy to forget what a powerful God we serve when we feel overwhelmed. Our God who offers hope and peace that surpasses all understanding. He who brings restoration and who is not afraid of our mess.
As followers of Jesus we are called to reflect who He is to the world. And we can’t find a better example of what that looks like than Jesus himself.
1. Jesus is not in a hurry
In Luke 8 Jesus is on his way to heal the centurion’s daughter. On the way to the man’s house he was surrounded by a big crowd when he felt someone touching his garment. The woman touching his garment suffered from bleeding for 12 years. In faith she touched Jesus’s garment believing that she would be healed. Jesus took the time to interact with that woman. He wasn’t stressed out by the fact that He was expected somewhere else. But He took the time to talk to her and heal her. Imagine the story with Jesus in a hurry. He probably wouldn’t have notice the woman and she still would be suffering. In our world today everyone is always busy and in a rush. But what if we take some extra time to listen to the stories of the people around us and to encourage each other and lift each other up in prayer. The world would be a different place.
2. Jesus is not afraid of our pain
John 11 tells the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus is on His way to Lazarus’ house when Mary meets up with him and tells him that Lazarus has passed away. When Jesus sees Mary and the other people weeping He his deeply moved in His spirit and troubled. And He wept with them. Jesus is not afraid to feel the pain that Mary is feeling. In church today the pastor said that the biggest problem of the church is our hearts that become hardened. Let us be like Jesus and feel with the ones that are hurting and bring comfort and hope to them. We don’t need to use a lot of words but simply be present. Let us be known for our compassion.
My prayer is that we will see our city and the people in it through Jesus’ eyes. And that our hearts won’t become jaded by the brokenness we see all around us.